Dhaka: Bangladesh is confronted with some serious challenges these days which has led the country to Islam-demeaning controversy as the Bangladeshi government has warned the media outlets in the country that strict legal action would be taken against those which rerun demeaning content against Islam and the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).
The Bengali Information Minister, Hasanul Haque Inu, warned the national newspapers and TV channels to refrain from rerunning Islam-enmity content of any sort as rerunning such materials is more demeaning than running those for the first time.
The minister held a press conference at Press Information Department (PID) to send the government message in the wake of some newspaper and TV channels’ rerunning of anti-Islam write-ups published on blogs and some websites.
While publication of anti-Islam materials are creating tension and harming peace in the society, some media houses are acting against journalistic ethics by rerunning those, said the minister.
The debate kicked off after the start of Shahbagh protest in demand of capital punishment to war criminals, which angered Jamaat-e-Islami and its student organization, Islami Chhatra Shibir, as several top leaders of the party have been arrested for war crimes.
As the protest gained momentum with thousands of people joining the demonstrators at Shahbagh, Jamaat-Shibir men started insult campaign against the frontline activists of the movement.
Days before blogger Ahmed Rajib Haidar’s killing on Friday, anti-Islam blog posts were published in his name, which the Shahbagh protesters rejected as Rajib’s. As cyber war continued between the two sides, more and more anti-Islam contents were published on different websites targeted at maligning the protesters’ characters, the Shahbagh protesters said.
Some newspapers also published those contents to add further as the debate received more heat.
Three newspapers on Tuesday published a half-page advertisement of Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh, Darul Ulum Hathazari, Chittagong, which contained highly offensive texts, which looks like online post, claiming that the Shahbagh movement is against Islam.
Shahbagh protesters firmly trashed the allegations that the demonstrators are making insulting comments about Islam.
The demonstrators also urged the nation not to believe the rumors.
Imran H Sarker, one of the organizers of Shahbagh movement, said that they have not made any insulting comment about any religion and they will never do so.
He said, “We only have made derogatory comments about war criminals and collaborators.”
On the other hand, High Court Judge Mizanur Rahman Bhuiyan Mizanur on Monday sent photocopies of news items on the alleged blog posts of blogger Haider regarding Islam and Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) to other Supreme Court judges.
The reports were published in Monday’s Bangla daily Inqilab, Sangram and Amar Desh.
The issue was raised in the parliament and Law Minister Shafique Ahmed assured lawmakers that he would discuss the issue with the chief justice to form a supreme judicial council for taking action against the HC judge for his “misconduct.”
The minister also termed the judge’s conduct as extra-constitutional and against country’s sovereignty.